February 23, 2017

Democrats Abroad Sweden Executive Committee Candidate Statements and Bylaws Amendments

Please join us for the Democrats Abroad Sweden Annual General Meeting in Stockholm on Saturday, March 25, 2017.

Below you will find the Candidate Statements for DAS Executive Committee Candidates and Proposed Bylaws Amendments. 


Candidates for Chair

1.     Alexander Lange (Stockholm/IL Voter)

Why do you want this role?

I have been Stockholm Chair for more than a year now, and have been very engaged with bringing DA Sweden to more public attention here in Sweden together with the current Chair and Executive Committee.

Because I am a skilled communicator and organizer, I am the right person to continue that work as Chair of DA Sweden and will work hard to ensure that DA-Sweden is recognized as a major institution for the American community in Sweden, right along with the US Embassy, and the American Club.

I strongly believe that DA's focus should lay with expanding our membership and being an open and inclusive society where anyone can come for information, find a like-minded community and to get involved in the political process.

In addition, as Chair I will work to strengthen the local chapters by creating clear guidelines on how to promote chapter activities, coordinate our communications, and empowering the chapter chairs to implement ideas that come from our grassroots members.

Born in Minneapolis, MN, I was raised in northern Germany with dual citizenship. I am currently working for Civil Rights Defenders, a Swedish nonprofit focused on protecting human and civil rights in countries with the worst record of violations.

I am a B.A. graduate of the University of Glasgow with a dual degree in Politics and Business & Management. I also hold an M.A. in Social Sciences with a focus on Political Theory from the University of Chicago.

I have worked in Research and Operations for political campaigns in the United States, including the 2012 Presidential re-election campaign for Barack Obama and the 2015 campaign to re-elect Rahm Emanuel as Mayor of Chicago. Here in Sweden I have also worked as a political analyst for JKL and as a communications consultant.


2.     Jacob Sommer (Stockholm/NJ Voter)

Why do you want this role?

My primary goal in applying for this position is to help to ensure that the growing misconceptions about the United States and American citizens are challenged in the Swedish public sphere as much as possible during the coming years. As the Democratic Party shifts to a role as the opposition party in almost every branch of the U.S. government it is now more important than ever for the Swedish people to hear and see a united voice of opposition so that relations between our countries and people remain strong, unharmed and brotherly no matter what policies may be implemented in the near term. As a life-long Democrat, a patriot, an experienced organizer, and an engaged citizen I am confident that I have the skills needed to organize Democrats Abroad Sweden activities and carry on its successful initiatives into the future. 


I was born and raised in New Jersey and later moved to Seattle, WA to attend the University of Washington. After obtaining a BA in Political Science and International Studies I moved to New York City and shortly thereafter to Uppsala where I obtained a MSc. in Political Theory and worked as a Researcher at Uppsala University. Since 2015 I have been employed as PhD Candidate at Stockholm University's Department of Media and Communication where I research the representation of protests by global television news networks.


Candidates for Vice-Chair

1.     Sigma Dolins (Göteborg/AZ Voter)

Why do you want this role?
I was extremely active with College Democrats in college (2002-2006), so I understand the fun and frustration of political organizing and activism. I am new to Sweden, but not new to living abroad, and served as the Warden of Taiyuan for American Citizens while living in China. Now in light of the election results, I feel compelled to do as much as I can to help progressive causes even if I am no longer in American territory.

I was President of the Franklin & Marshall College Democrats from 2003-2006, and served at the Pennsylvania State Chapter level. I am familiar with Facebook advertising (if we have a budget for promoting digital ads). Mostly, I am eager to put in the time and effort towards meet-ups, collaborative projects, and information dissemination.



Candidates for Secretary

1.     Jeffrey Cheng (Stockholm/PA Voter)

Why do you want this role?
I would love the opportunity to continue serving the Democrats Abroad Sweden community as Secretary.

Currently, I serve as Secretary with Democrats Abroad Sweden and also work on the Global Communications team, Global IT team, and DA Youth Caucus.

While living abroad, I have found a new family with Democrats Abroad and am glad to play a part in giving Americans abroad a voice in our government. My favorite part about working with DA has been helping thousands of people register to vote and request their ballots.

Over the last year, I was very involved in Voter Help Desk, Call Hub Phone-banking, organizing and running Global Town Hall WebEx conferences, and have a hand in maintaining the global database and websites.

After running for a delegate position at the Democrats Abroad Global meeting in 2016, I was invited to join the DA delegation to the Democratic National Convention as a page. That week was one of the most exciting and inspirational weeks and I look forward to supporting Democrats as we go into special elections and midterms.

Looking towards the future, I am invested in growing our membership on the chapter and country level, with the help of social media tool, our website, and our amazing volunteers. We can make sure all Americans in Sweden and around the world can be heard. Globally, I am continuing my role on the Global IT Team, the Global Comms Team, DA Youth Caucus, and will serve as one of the Chairs for the Democrats Abroad Congressional Door Knocks in May of 2017.

I would love the opportunity to continue serving as the Democrats Abroad Sweden Secretary and thank you for your consideration.

I'm an IT consultant with a background in finance/payments technology and education/development. Before moving to Sweden with my husband in 2014, I lived in New York City and Philadelphia. 



2.     Rick Wicks (Göteborg/AK Voter)

Why do you want this role?
I am deeply committed to Democratic principles and issues and (of course) am deeply troubled by the present course of the country. DA has been a godsend to me these last 8 years in providing an outlet for my political concerns. I’d like to help make DA available to more Americans in Sweden and around the world. 

I believe it’s useful to have a diversity of representation on our board, including from widespread parts of Sweden. I have been secretary of other organizations and have worked with the DA database twice before – cleaning up and verifying data, and testing the new system before it became operational – so I believe I’m well qualified. In accordance with our Bylaws, I am committed to the principle of committee meetings open to all members.

I was born in Iowa (where we still have a summer cottage) but we moved to Alaska (where I vote) when I was 11, just before it became a state. I attended St. John’s College (“the Great Books College”) in Annapolis, MD, and Santa Fe, NM (where I graduated), and I later lived for six years in the Bay Area of California where, among other things, I spent a year at Tassajara Zen Monastery. I had a dual (alternate) career in (on the one hand) accounting & management and (on the other hand) social welfare work (teaching school, working with severely autistic children, starting a daycare center). I finally put the two sides together in the study of economics.

I met my (Swedish) wife in Bangladesh at the end of a year traveling around the Indian subcontinent. After we got married in Alaska we moved to Washington DC where I worked first for the Association to Unite the Democracies (now the Streit Council, on whose board I sit), then for Development Alternatives, Inc. and Boston Institute for Developing Economies, both international consulting firms. We moved to Sweden after the birth of our first child (our second child was born here), and I entered the graduate program in economics at Göteborgs Universitet, from which I eventually got a PhD. I’ve made a living here as a copy editor.

I joined Democrats Abroad in 2008 and was a founding member of the Göteborg chapter, for which I have served variously as treasurer, secretary, and chair, as well as being responsible for many years (together with Carry Cooper) for our monthly Afterworks. I have attended the last three DA Global Meetings in DC, Dominican Republic, and Berlin, and the last regional (Europe/Middle East/Africa) meeting in Edinburgh.



Candidates for Treasurer

1.     Cortney Berry (Stockholm/CO Voter)

Why do you want this role?
I believe that citizens have a responsibility to be engaged in shaping their governments, regardless of if they are living at home or abroad. Democrats Abroad participation allows me to be fully engaged in my country and its political processes in a way that is meaningful to me while living overseas.

I am licensed school teacher through the state of Colorado, and I am currently living and working in Stockholm as an English instructor. I hold master's degrees in International Studies and Education, as well as a graduate certificate in Community Driven Development. I have been involved in activism, volunteering, and political organizing for more than half my life, and have a variety of experiences coordinating volunteers and working with and for non-profits.  I served as the precinct chair and as the state delegate during Barack Obama's first campaign; I was also involved in helping to register voters and get out the vote as an Obama chair for my precinct. I am comfortable with social media and blogging platforms as well as all standard computer programs. I have strong writing skills and public speaking skills. I have worked in finance and accounting, and have run accounting software for small businesses.



Candidates for Legal Counsel

1.     Mini Kaur (Stockholm/MD Voter)

Why do you want this role?
I enjoy working with Democrats abroad members and the board and helping solve legal problems that arise. It's rewarding to help people register to vote and I want to do whatever I can to help Democratic candidates succeed. We are in tough times for Democrats now, but we're also at a point in history where we have huge amounts of grassroots momentum on our side! Now more than ever we need to stick together and focus on 2018!

A Maryland native, I moved to Sweden in 2009. I worked as a lawyer for the federal government in Washington DC before moving here, first at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and then as a prosecutor at the US Attorney's office. I currently work as an in-house lawyer in Stockholm. I've had the role of Legal Counsel of Democrats Abroad Sweden for several years now.


Bylaws Amendments


Proposed Bylaws Amendments Cover Sheet

Click here to view/download the proposed Bylaws Amendments.